Ryan Williams Kettle

Scoring big for charitable cause

A dozen hockey teams have donated gifts to the Salvation Army.

Standing in the locker room doorway following a recent game, Herman Stahl listened with great interest as the Abbotsford Vipers hockey team discussed the specifics of a Christmas gift exchange.

It was suggested that instead of buying presents for each other, the midget (age 15-17) boys squad could instead donate them to a local charity.

“I thought they might talk about it a little bit, but there was no talking,” recounted Stahl, the team manager. “Everybody was just nodding their heads, saying ‘Yeah, let’s do it.’ It was pretty amazing to see them so united on that – rather than waste 15 bucks on each other, let’s give it away.

“I sent an email to the parents later on, and I said, ‘Your kids really warmed my heart by committing to that.’”

The Vipers decided to donate their gifts to the Salvation Army for distribution to those less fortunate, and they opened up the initiative to the rest of the Abbotsford Minor Hockey Association. They collected presents at their games on Sunday and Monday at MSA Arena.

In the end, 12 other teams contributed, and they combined to fill a small pickup truck with board games, Vancouver Canucks gear, Barbie dolls and more. Stahl dropped the donations off at the Salvation Army on Tuesday.

“We already have everything,” reasoned Vipers captain Riley Kerr, age 17. “We have hockey, we all play sports, we all have good presents coming. So we decided as a team to give to charity.

“It feels great. It’s too bad we couldn’t see the people in person and give the gifts to them. But just knowing they’re going to be smiling makes us all feel great.”

Stahl was encouraged by the response to the Vipers’ charity initiative from the rest of the minor hockey association.

“We had no idea how it was going to go, but it was neat how some of the parents and some of the teams got together and donated,” he said.

Stahl describes the Vipers as a sportsmanlike squad – their league offers a bonus point for having less than 12 penalty minutes in a game, and the Vipers, more often than not, collect that bonus.

“They’re a really good group of kids,” he said. “They’re pretty mild-mannered, fun-loving.”

Just Posted

Abbotsford qualifies for national Communities in Bloom program

City awarded ‘5 Bloom’ rating at provincial level

Abbotsford raccoon dies from injuries suffered in a trap

Wildlife protection group offering $1,000 reward for information about incident

Motorcyclist suffers serious injuries from Abbotsford crash

Driver sent to hospital after crash with Mustang at Gladwin and Maclure roads

Abbotsford Visitor Centre closing for winter due to low attendance

Tourism Abbotsford says declining traffic during fall, winter months common for B.C. visitor centres

Nominations open for UFV Betty Urquhart Community Service award

Award recognizes those who make community a better place to live

VIDEO: More cameras, police coming after Marissa Shen killed in Burnaby park

B.C. privacy watchdog worries that the cameras are a ‘slow creep’ to a surveillance state

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

VIDEO: A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

B.C. woman donates $250,000 to ovarian cancer research for friends

Two of Patty Pitts’s friends passed away from the disease within a year

B.C. could provide clues as to how New Brunswick electoral results shake out

Premier Christy Clark faced a strikingly similar scenario following the province’s 2017 election

Ottawa working to iron out kinks in public alert system

The alerts are being credit with saving lives during last week’s tornadoes

Most Read